Quick Hits

More and more parents are paying good money to get their kids private photo sessions with Santa.  Such sessions can cost anywhere from $80 to $500.  Some of these sessions can have the kids taking “silly” photos with Santa, while others offer “immersive” sessions in elaborately decorated rooms, with kids getting letters from Santa as well

Source: New York Post

Folks have taken to Internet forums like Reddit to reveal the absolutely worst holiday gifts they’ve received.  Truly bad holiday gifts include:

  • One person’s grandmother gave him the little tin box that people usually put gift cards in, but with no gift card, thinking it was a holder for a person to put all the gift cards they receive. “I just started laughing saying noooo, you are supposed to put a gift card in here to give to someone!,” the person on Reddit notes. “It was really cute though. Bless her heart.”
  • “My mom bought me one of those 3-D posters that were all the rage on the 90s. I am blind in one eye.”
  • “One year when I was a kid, my parents bought me a computer mouse. What makes it bad is that I didn't have a computer, and had been asking for one for years.”
  • “This year I got a pair of pajamas that were identical to the pair I was wearing when I unwrapped them. Thanks again mom!”
  • One Redditor was wondering why some of the video games he bought for himself didn’t turn up. Turns out, one of his older brothers stole them for his gift. “I tore the paper away and [opened] the box. Inside there were several other packages that had been mailed to our house. With my name on them,” he writes. “My brother had taken half of my games and hid them from me until Christmas … Worst present ever.”
  • “NASCAR earrings. My dad won them in a claw machine.”
  • “Light bulb. No card or note or anything. A box with a single light bulb inside. Thanks” 
  • “Expired chocolate, on Christmas, from an aunt who was a chronic re-gifter, yet always expected expensive, top-notch gifts for her children on Christmas and their birthdays. Not only was the chocolate expired, but it was also evident that it had melted completely and resolidified.” To get back at her, the person went up and told her how delicious it was and made her try a piece, at which point she noticed how they looked. “She quickly walked to the kitchen immediately afterwards,” he writes. “I think I've only seen her once since that moment almost nine years ago."

Source: Fox News

While there are certainly some people out there who love the cold and the snow, there are also plenty of people who get downright depressed with the temperatures outside drop below freezing. The winter blues, which usually results in a lack of energy and feelings of irritability, sadness and apathy, aren’t something to be ignored, but for some there’s just no way of getting out of that seasonal funk. But if you're one of those people who suffer from the winter blues, there are some things you can do each day that may make you feel a little bit better. They include:

  • Expose yourself to natural daylight every day – As much as you may not want to, make it a point to spend at least 20 minutes outside soaking in as much light as you can.
  • Prioritize Sleep – Lack of sleep can cause feelings of depression so try to clock in the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Move every day for at least 15 minutes – It may be hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym, but even 15 minutes of movement can have energizing effects on your mood and body.
  • Brighten your bedroom and office – Getting as much light as you can will go a long way towards feeling better, so add some lights to your home or office, or maybe even get a dawn simulator to gradually bring light into your room. 
  • Examine your daily diet – Try to cut back on fast foods, which could have negative effects on your mental health, and watch your alcohol and sugar intake, plus try and incorporate whole grains and veggies into your diet.
  • Spend time with friends – Connecting with other people is critical to ward off the winter blues, since being with people will help keep your mind and emotions in check.
  • Cut yourself some slack - Don’t make yourself feel bad about feeling bad. It’s only going to make your feel worse. Accept that it’s okay to have some bad days during the winter.

Source: The Huffington Post

If 2018 is the year you finally want to get fit, learn a new language, or be better about managing your money, you need to invest in yourself. Here are few things you should think about gifting yourself to help you reach your goals.

Source: Moneyish

Want to know what’s going to be the next big thing in food in the coming year? Pinterest has the answers. According to the site, 2018 is all about experimentation, alternatives, and spice. Here’s what they say the biggest food trends will be in the upcoming year.

  • Air frying - Pinterest users are really into these machines that use hot air instead of oil to get food nice and crispy. Pins for air frying are up an unbelievable 1809%!
  • Souping - Saves for quick, easy, healthy nutrient-rich soup have surged 306%.
  • Super coffee - Saves for 'healthy coffee' recipes have shot up 218% and Pinterest hacks including adding things like protein powder and superfoods like maca to your cup of joe.
  • Morocco - People are into the warm spices from the North African country and saves for recipes for Moroccan dishes have skyrocketed 2579%.
  • Plant proteins - Pinners are saving more recipes for healthy veggie burgers and such, with saves for plant proteins up by 417%
  • Snap peas - This could be the year for sugar snap peas, searches for recipes shot up 273%
  • A new hot sauce - Put down that Sriracha and expand your palate with Korean condiments, like Gochujang, [[ go-chew-JANG]] the fermented chili paste that packs a fiery punch. Searches for it are up 22% and climbing.
  • Ghee - According to Pinterest users, Ghee is the new coconut oil. The Indian clarified butter is lactose-free and paleo-friendly, so people can’t get enough of it.
  • Dairy-free - Saves for recipes for Vegan desserts are up 329%, so expect to see more elaborate raw cakes and sweet treats made with coconut oil.
  • Mocktails - Having a Dry January won’t be hard when you check out the non-alcoholic and virgin cocktail recipes on Pinterest. Searches for them are up 160%.

Source: Whimn

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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